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New used car on limited funds

What would be your recommendation for a car for a relatively young driver who is strapped for cash, needs something reliable, and preferably something with good gas mileage?

P. S. My previous car was a Chevrolet Venture.

Get thee to a library and get the April issue of consumer reports. It has a comprehensive list of used cars to fit virtually every price range. It also lists the “good bets” and the “avoiders.”

I paid around $6k for a 99 Accord back in '08 and i’m very pleased with the car. I don’t know what your price range is but I would recommend something comparable. We’ve had several daily-driver Hondas in my household and we haven’t had any significant problems with the cars, just food for thought.

A Chevrolet Prizm makes a great inexpensive used car. The Prizm is a Toyota Corolla sold by Chevy dealers. Superb reliability, terrific gas mileage, cheap price. Hard to beat.

I’ve had good luck with both Ford Escort and Mazda Protege. You can get a newer car for the same money as Honda or Toyota.

My recommendation would be used small - midsize (Domestic or Asian) that has a known history and undergoes a mechanic check.

If a person brought everything up to date before selling tires, timing belts, brakes etc it could be a good deal. However you could buy some of the recommended cars here you could find a $800 timing belt “maintenance” lurking or $500 in brake work coming up soon. Also look at condition of tires as they run between $300-$500 installed.

My wife’s Subaru recent maintenance at 95k:

$400 in bushings, $550 in tires, $600 brakes with $200 a seized caliper, $600 90k service

The brakes, bushings, and tires were critical coming up to $1500. The $600 service will keeping it running fine and included first spark plug change but not critical.

$1500 is a lot of money lurking. So just be wary on what you buy.

I’ll help the O/P out a little more,

p. 78 These cars have “above average” reliability ratings:

< $4,000
Acura Integra '00
Chevy Prizm '00-'02
Ford F-150 '00
Honda Civic '00
Hyundai Accent '04
Mitsubishi Galant '00
Subaru Impreza '00
Toyota Corolla '00-'01
Toyota Echo '00-'02

Maybe that will get you started.

I’ll endorse my 2003 Toyota Echo. It has the prefect combination of reliability, gas mileage, and low cost. I average 49 mpg (manual) and it’s never been in the shop for any repair.